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Nuclink: Journal of Current Radiation and Public Health Issues

Volume 8, Number 1
January 19, 2008
Published by RPHP
PO Box 60 Unionville, NY 10988
Editor: Joseph Mangano

A note from the Editor: The following covers the activities of RPHP from September through December, 2007.

On November 12, in New York City, RPHP released a 38 page report on health risks posed by a 20 year license extension for the two nuclear reactors at the Indian Point plant, located just 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan. Included in the report was a section on Environmental Justice, which presented data suggesting radioactive releases from Indian Point may harm impoverished and minority populations.

Among the presenters at the event were Joseph Mangano, Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Alec Baldwin. The press coverage was the most extensive of any RPHP event. Every major TV station in New York City reported, and NBC Nightly News included a story that night. The report was placed on the RPHP web site. Click here to read.

In early December, several citizen groups filed legal actions to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking to block the 20 year license extension, and included Mangano as an expert witness. Each cited public health threats as a basis for their action, and Clearwater also cited Environmental Justice issues. The contentions will be reviewed by the NRC, Mangano could be called to verbally testify.

Late in 2007, RPHP continued its public education efforts on the hazards of extending the license of the Oyster Creek nuclear reactor for 20 years. The current license for Oyster Creek, the oldest of 104 U.S. reactors, expires April 2009. Efforts included:

  • On September 5, Joseph Mangano appeared in Toms River NJ, asking the Ocean County Board of Freeholders (county commissioners) to officially oppose the proposal to extend the Oyster Creek license. The Freeholders have not taken a position.
  • On October 2, Mangano gave a live 30 minute interview for Channel 30, a public access cable TV station in Princeton, on the health threats posed by Oyster Creek. Channel 30 aired the interview each Tuesday in October. Channel 13 in Vineland NJ ran the program three times a week in December.
  • On December 14, Mangano taped an interview at Channel 77 of Monmouth County, the largest public access cable station near Oyster Creek, which aired later in the month.

Mangano completed a book entitled Radioactive Baby Teeth: The Cancer Link, and signed an agreement with the online printer Lightning Source; publication expected early in 2008. The 160 page book is a historical account of studies of Strontium-90 in baby teeth, a unique summary of one of the more crucial, but relatively unrecognized scientific topics of the 20th century.

The book examines the landmark study by Washington University in St. Louis during the 1960s, documenting the buildup of atomic bomb test fallout in bodies. The study led to the passage of the 1963 Test Ban Treaty that ended above-ground atomic tests. It also examines the RPHP Tooth Fairy Project, including how the study was conceived, what it found, and how it is being used to affect nuclear policies.

In 2006-2007, Mangano has published 23 editorials and 6 letters in U.S. newspapers on the dangers of keeping old nuclear reactors open, and starting new reactors. During the latter part of 2007, a number of these publications appeared (one, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was written by RPHP Chief Scientist Ernest Sternglass).

9/14 VY: Clear and Present Danger?, Brattleboro (VT) Reformer (click here to (read)
9/22 Nuclear Reactor an Unclean, Dangerous Source for Energy, Springfield (MO) News-Leader (click here to read)
9/28 Oyster Creek: Safety First, Trenton (NJ) Times (click here to read)
10/ 6 Don't Keep Old Nuclear Plant Open in Ocean, Parsippany (NJ) Daily Record (click here to read)
10/24 Demand Answers on Cancer Causes, Ocean County (NJ) Observer
10/30 State Should Look to Truly Clean Energy Sources Milwaukee (WI) Journal Sentinel (click here to read)
11/25 Demand Answers on Cancer Causes, Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press
12/16 Trade Nukes for Gas, Pittsburgh (PA) Post Gazette (click here to read)

11/19 Indian Point Poses Health Threats, Westchester (NY) Journal News (click here to read)
12/ 3 Nuclear Plants Aren't Worth Risk, The Press of Atlantic City (NJ) (click here to read)

In September, the online version of the weekly magazine The Nation published Mangano's tribute to Dr. John Gofman, who died the previous month. Dr. Gofman was a giant among those scientists who probed a link between low-dose radiation and cancer. His 1970 study that estimated 32,000 cancer deaths could occur from radiation doses considered safe by the U.S. government remains the first to ever estimate casualties from routine releases from nuclear reactors. (click here to read)

On December 6, the weekly issue of Rachel's Democracy and Health News featured a page-one story by Mangano of the health consequences of expanding nuclear power. The article features four "case studies" of expanding nuclear plants, including those that RPHP is most involved in (Calvert Cliffs, Indian Point, Oyster Creek, and Vermont Yankee). Rachel's is named after the scientist Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring is considered as the catalyst of the U.S. environmentalmovement. (click here to read)

To contact RPHP please email Joseph Mangano at odiejoe@aol.com.